Emil "Pappy" Pappalardo, L/393, of Green Valley AZ, died June 6, 2008.
Henry "Bud" Rump, 87, G/394, of Newark DE, died March 31, 2008. After the war, he was employed with General Foods Corporation, retiring as warehouse manager in 1985. Survivors include five children; 14 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Peter Gacki, 89, C/371, of East Lansing MI, died April 13, 2008. He was a member of C Battery, 371st FA Bn., who fought along with the 394th I&R Platoon at Lanzerath until they were captured on Dec. 16, 1944. He received the Silver Star. He retired from the U.S. Postal Service after 30 years service. "He would have turned 90 on April 24, instead a memorial service was held on that date," said his widow, Fleta. Other survivors include one son; two stepdaughters; seven grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Isadore Rosen, Pittsburgh PA, died May 30, 2008. He was a former platoon staff sergeant, 2nd platoon, I/394. He served with the original cadre at Camp Van Dorn MS, and through the end of World War II in Bavaria, and occupation duties in Austria, returning to civilian life in late 1945. He received the Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, and three battle campaign stars. He was instrumental in completing the first American flag across the Rhine River with the 99th Division in World War II. After the war, he and his brothers owned and operated the Western Meat Packing Co. Survivors include his son, Ross. "He was a courageous soldier and leader, decisive, tough but with compassion and caring for his men," said Sam Lombardo, former platoon leader. "He also had a good sense of humor. He will be missed by all," he concluded.
Dr. Walter R. Graham, 84, Q/394, of Myrtle Point OR, died Dec. 17, 2007. He was the assistant chaplain for his unit which was captured near Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. He was held in a German prisoner of war camp from December 1944 until liberated in June 1945. He was awarded the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He had been a pastor for 60 years. Survivors include his wife, Barbara; four children; 11 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
Clement Walter, C/395, of Manor PA, died Sept. 12, 2007.
Robert J. VonHandorf, 86, S/370, of Fort Wright KY, died May 15, 2008. He was a machinist at R.A. Jones Company, retiring after 35 years. Survivors include his wife, Loraine; four children; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Fred J. Gole, 86, A/393, of Garrettsville OH, died March 4, 2008. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was awarded a Bronze Star. He was a machinist for 35 years after the war, then became caretaker of a seven-acre estate. Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth; three children; and four grandchildren.
Elmer W. Freytag, 89, D/393, of Massillon OH, died Sept. 16, 2007. He and his wife Lois always enjoyed the 99th reunions.
John S. Schwab Jr., 87, I/393, of Falls Church VA, died Feb. 4, 2008. He was shot and captured during the Battle of the Bulge. Survivors include four children; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Associate members Jim Sell and Chuck and Jane Swartz attended the funeral services.
Charles O. Woodrow, S/099, of Lafayette IN, died Sept. 2, 2006.
Martin B. "Dick" Shellenberger Jr., 82, B/393, of Syracuse NY, died May 8, 2008. He served as a mortar gunner from December 1944 through VE-Day. He received the Bronze Star. He was senior vice president for Syracuse China Corporation before his retirement in 1992. He is survived by two daughters and two grandchildren.
John Casassa, 82, S/371, of Highland IN, died April 21, 2008. He was awarded a Bronze Star for actions during World War II. He was self-employed in the auto upholstery business. He and his wife Vickie were regular attendees at the annual reunions before her death. He is survived by a son and two grandchildren.
Joseph P. Mozden, 82, L/394, of Claremont NH, died April 19, 2008. He was one of the last American soldiers to cross the Remagen bridge, and watched it collapse just after his crossing. Joe was a staff member for the Cleveland OH FBI before moving to New Hampshire as co-owner of Stan's Market. His final job was as a self-employed house painter and interior design worker. Survivors include his wife, Mary; four children; and four grandchildren.
Eugene F. Hoffman, 85, Hq. Co., 1st Bn., 394th, of South Bend IN, died March 24, 2008. He worked for Studebaker then 22 years at South Bend School City. Survivors include his wife; two daughters; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Albert R. Checchio Sr., 85, of Plum Boro PA, died April 30, 2008. He was a tech sergeant during the war and was awarded a Bronze Star. Survivors include his wife, Louise; three children; and six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Robert W. Hecklinger, 87, S/371, of Toledo OH, died March 28, 2008. He was an excellent athlete, playing football in high school and earning all city and all state honors before winning the state championship. He was inducted into the Waite High School Hall of Fame. He went on to play at Ohio State University, where he earned his varsity letter during his sophomore year. He was self-employed at Hecklinger Bros. Greenhouse until his retirement at age 71. Survivors include three sons; nine grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.
Carrol Lee "Spud" Butler, 86, K/393, of Brownwood TX, died April 22, 2008. He served in the 393rd during World War II and the Korean Conflict and was honorably discharged as a first lieutenant. He was awarded the Bronze Star for actions during World War II. He retired from the Santa Fe Railroad after 35 years of service, was co-owner of the Circle Drive-In, and owned and operated the Sidetrack Pool Hall. Survivors include three children and three grandchildren.
Charles Leslie "Les" Smith, 82, of Allentown PA, died April 28, 2008. He served as a rifleman in the 394th during the Battle of the Bulge, then the 2nd Division after being wounded on the front lines. He owned and operated C. Leslie Smith Silversmith Shop for more than 50 years. Survivors include his wife, Ruth; five children; 14 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Joseph Shimko, 90, L/394, of Mentor OH, died April 5, 2008. He was awarded a Bronze Star and several other commendations. After his service, he earned a BA in business from Western Reserve University and worked for Carborundum Abrasive Manufacturing until his retirement. He was a regular attendee of the 99th conventions until his health prevented travel. Survivors include his wife, Betty; five children; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
George E. Kulpaca, F/393, of Ventura CA, died March 8, 2008. He attended several 99th reunions. He is survived by two brothers.
Howard Wilson, 85, B/324 Engineers, of Warren PA, died March 7, 2008. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, sharing a foxhole with his twin, Harold. Both were regular attendees of the 99th reunions. Howard retired from Betts Machine Company. He is survived by two brothers; a sister; nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
Reece Almond, 86, 2nd Bn., 394th, of Locust NC, died Feb. 15, 2008. He was awarded a Bronze Star for actions during the Battle of the Bulge. He owned and operated the Western Auto store in Locust for 30 years. He was a charter member of the Locust Volunteer Fire Department and the Locust Lions Club, remaining active in that organization for 56 years, serving as its secretary. He is survived by his wife, Pauline; two sons; and two grandsons.
John J. Waidmann, C/393, of Chesterfield MO, died Feb. 4, 2008. He spent 30 years as a professional writer at KXOK and Emerson Electric, before retiring from McDonnell Douglas. He is survived by two children and four grandchildren.
Ralph D. Hill, 91, A/395, of Cambria CA, died in July 2007.
William H. "Bill" Huffman, 83, I/395, of Conroe TX, died June 16, 2008. Survivors include his wife, Mary, and two sons.